Jobs, Jobs, And More Jobs

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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jobs under the magnifying glasss

This post is about jobs.

You might have guessed that from the title.

Not the late Steve, the other kind.

During the past months America has been creating approximately 200,000 jobs. At least that’s what the official figures are saying. It has helped to indicate the underlying strength of the economy, led to official unemployment figures of 5.5% and propped up the USD on the foreign exchange markets.

And no one is questioning any of it.

It’s as if it’s really real.

Again it’s all a question of what you do with the numbers.

unemployment

The May 2015 figure for the labor force is 157.5 million. That is the figure the government uses to calculate it’s unemployment rate of 5.5%.

That’s what they call the ‘U3’ number. U3 is the official unemployment rate.

But there is also a ‘U5’ number that includes discouraged workers and all other marginally attached workers; and a ‘U6’ number that adds on those workers who are part-time purely for economic reasons.

Don’t ask me what happened to ‘U1’ or ‘U4’ because I don’t know. However ‘U2’ is a very successful pop group from Dublin, Ireland.

u2 image

The problem is that the “official” unemployment rate (U3) does not count discouraged workers who have settled for part-time jobs or have given up looking altogether because they believe there are no jobs out there for them.

There are about another 7.5 million or so people who were not considered ‘unemployed’ because they were employed part-time for economic reasons. Those people are also called involuntary part-time workers – working part-time because their hours were cut back or because they were unable to secure a full-time job.

If you include those individuals, (the U6 number), you get a very different figure for the nation’s unemployment rate. Unlike other jobs figures, the U6 rate actually got worse in June.

So the real unemployment rate is well in excess of 12%, more than double the official figure.

But it is even worse than that.

The economy is growing, BUT it is growing slowly, and it is growing from a very low base caused by the financial crisis that the banksters brought upon us with their fraud and greed.

In that light, an increase of 200,000 jobs or so each month is basically just replacing some of the millions of jobs lost during the bank-caused recession, not creating ‘new’ jobs as such. In other words we’re just slowly getting back to where we were.

The forecasts aren’t optimistic either. If and when the workers laid off during the recent recession find new jobs and we get to what the government calls full employment, the labor force is forecast to grow at a rate of only 0.5% for the rest of this decade. At 0.5%, we grow at a rate of about 66,000 a month — nowhere near 200,000. Next decade it’s even worse, at 0.2%.

government bureaucrats

Add to that the fact that a great number of the jobs being created are government bureaucratic jobs that cost the country money, not real jobs that produce wealth for the country and you can see that there is little for the politicians to crow about.

As I noted in my post on Wednesday, with statistics you can ‘prove’ anything. Take any government figures with a great big pinch of salt.

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What Do Creflo Dollar And Me Have In Common?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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creflo dollar

I hope there aren’t too many things that Creflo Dollar and I have in common. But the one thing that I am sure of that we do have in common is that neither of us own a $65 million private jet. (We’d probably both like to but that’s a whole different story.)

Creflo, if you don’t know already, is one of those despicable TV preachers who spend 99.9 percent of their time trying to swindle money out of gullible and stupid people who think he is really a ‘man of God’.

This pastor’s latest attempt to enrich himself at the expense of his congregation was just as blatant piece of greed and fraud as I’ve come across.

He wanted $65 million.

Nothing wrong with that, if he was going to spend it building a hospital wing, feeding the poor, housing the homeless, or some other equally good works.

But Creflo wanted the $65 million to buy himself a private jet, and a pretty swanky one come to that.

creflo-dollar-airplane

I know what you’re thinking.

I thought the same.

But it turns out that Creflo didn’t want the jet for personal gain, although he would end up owning it and using it.

Oh, dear me no, not at all.

Creflo just wanted to use the private jet to transport food to the starving peoples of the world. Oh yes, and to save the lives of Christians being persecuted in the Middle east.

Personally, if these were indeed the reasons for wanting an airplane, I’d have set my sights on something a little more modest and of the cargo, rather than the luxury passenger, variety. You can pack a heck of a lot more boxes of food into an empty cargo fuselage than you can into one crammed with plush leather reclining seats, plama TV screens, beds, drinks cabinets and all the other luxury fittings you can find in a bespoke Gulfstream private jet.

It didn’t work of course. Thankfully.

It transpired that not even the type of gullible Americans who watch this kind of TV trash fell for Creflo’s obvious display of greed and self-agrandisement. After disappointing results and adverse publicity the web page soliciting donations for the private jet disappeared – and so did Creflo.

For a while, that is.

But he came back and when he did he had the usual religious scammer’s excuses all lined up. The reason for his disappearance was because he was “talking with God” – not the real one of course, but his own personal version, the one who only told him what he wanted to hear.

And his fake god told Creflo that his scam to get himself a private jet had failed because the ‘forces of evil’ had interfered with his plans and set out to discredit him.

one of Creflo Dollar's cribs
one of Creflo Dollar’s modest little cribs

 

It’s a pity they hadn’t got to work on Creflo before now. Before he was able to scam his supporters out of enough money to buy him a million dollar home in Atlanta, another $2.5 million home in Manhattan, a Rolls-Royce motor car, and just enough money to buy one private jet back in 1999.

I wish we had heard the last from people like Creflo.

But somehow I doubt it.

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I Spy With Your Little ‘i’ – A Free And Open Internet?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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internet surveillance

When the internet was born it was a tool of the military establishment.

Then it broke out of that stranglehold and escaped into a world of freedom of expression and communication for everyone.

Never before had a system like this been available to the general public. Never before had it been so easy to find information, search for friends, communicate with groups with similar interests, etc. Its popularity was assured.

The world wide web developed at break neck speed, much too quick for the people who hate and detest freedom. They were confounded.

It was a free and open internet.

world wide web

So how could it ever go wrong?

Well, as with the financial crisis, when you dig down a bit you find the Clinton administration again as the culprit.

During the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was first being woven into social and cultural life, internet companies and corporate advertisers lobbied the Clinton administration to minimize privacy restrictions, so that they could re-engineer the Web to enable commercial surveillance of internet users.

The warnings of public interest groups were ignored as social networks, search engines, service providers and advertisers lobbied hard against even the smallest of efforts at data protection. Motivated by greed, they ensured that commercial surveillance would be pervasively integrated online. They are still at it today, that’s really what cloud computing services are all about.

A few thousand giant corporations, like Google, have become able to capture information every minute, of every hour, of every day, from everyone who uses the internet. And they can’t stop because their profit strategies totally rely on accumulating user data.

google for profit surveillance

Thus began the surveillance society. The government saw how easy this could now be done and began to catch up fast. If there was snooping to be done, they were not to be left out in the cold.

Until Edward Snowden, who had been a computer consultant working for a subcontractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA), copied several hundred thousand classified documents relating to surveillance programs being conducted by the US and its allies in the name of the war on terror, and sent them to journalists, nobody really understood the level of snooping that was going on.

Most of it was unnecessary, intrusive, unproductive and immoral, and after Snowden’s revelations nobody believed the United States government was totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

ennesssseh

Further revelations published since have helped to reveal a surveillance system that intrudes into almost every facet of our private lives. Privacy in fact is a thing of the past, unless you have the time, resources and knowledge to try to circumvent it.

If the government was only spying on the communications of foreign countries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, and if it was confined to what could be termed ‘unfriendly’ nations and their agents throughout the world, then I don’t think anyone would mind so much. It’s a necessary evil in today’s world.

But unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. Friendly nations and heads of state, European institutions, the UN headquarters, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to name but a few, have all also come under the snooper’s gaze.

This has not only shown up the irresponsibility and arrogance of those in charge of the snoopers, and their lack of common sense and ethics, but it has also created even more ill will against the United States.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an ally of the United States, was a victim of the snoopers. As a result of that revelation, the German government protested publicly its outrage. It also terminated its longstanding telecommunications service contract with Verizon, directing its business to Deutsche Telekom instead. Two weeks after that it expelled the head of US intelligence in Germany.

The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, also took public stands against US privacy invasions. He, like Merkel, had also personally been a victim of the US snoopers.

Then the UN General Assembly voted unanimously to affirm online privacy as a human right, and in June 2014, responding to the EU, the US Justice Department had to promise to send legislation to Congress that would grant European citizens many of the (inadequate) privacy protections accorded to US citizens.

Bad enough not trusting your supposed ‘allies’, but US intelligence agencies have gone even further. Now they don’t even trust the decent, honest, hard-working citizens of America who have never broken any laws, nor have any intention of doing so.

prism

The Prism program, for example, allows the NSA to collect data from your emails, telephone conversations, contacts, videos, etc., from major US digital companies including Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

The XKeyscore program uses several hundred servers distributed across the world to store information on the activities of every Internet user, including your emails, internet searches, the websites you visit, what you post on social networks, and blogs like this. (Whoops!)

The list goes on and on.

After Snowden’s revelations, commercial firms like Google, Facebook and others scrambled to distance themselves by professing outrage. Their protestations had little to do with political principle but a lot to do with ensuring they continued to make fortunes by collecting data on us.

The US Internet companies went on a public relations offensive, and also raced to reorganize their overseas operations, to reassure worried foreign customers that they were complying with local data protection measures.

IBM, for example, committed over a billion dollars to building additional data centers overseas, hoping to ease customer fears that their data was not safe from the US government’s surveillance. But then the US authorities demanded that Microsoft, which deploys more than a million computers in over 40 countries, hand over emails stored on its servers in Ireland. Data is not safe and private anywhere it seems.

Last week I wrote a post about the Facebook/US Army experiment in trying (successfully) influence how people thought. (Click here if you want to read it.)

And so it continues.

Personally I think it is a pity that the powers that be are able to devote time, energy and money against people who have done nothing wrong, yet seem unwilling to remove child pornography and other evils from the world wide web. But the latter would require a decree of decency and morals that is sadly lacking in those who direct such matters for the government.

The US has lost the moral authority to talk about a free and open Internet, because that free and open internet has already been destroyed.

No doubt there is worse to come.

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They Let The Crazy People Out Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks.

It’s Black Friday.

This is the day they let the crazy people out.

They wrestle and fight and tug

and roll around on the floor hitting each other

in a frenzy of greed and stupidity. 

It’s fun to watch, but I’m staying at home.

How about you?

If you want to know why then have

a look at these videos and photos.

Enjoy and be safe.

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Black-Friday.001

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black friday fight 3

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A shopper is restrained on the ground by security staff in the car park of an Asda store in Bristol.

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Black-Friday-Fight

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black friday fight 4

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blackfriday_fights_11-27-2012

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Come On Obama, Stick Them In The Slamma!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Around this time last month I wrote a post about the explosion of sub-prime credit for people seeking automobile loans they couldn’t afford. Here’s a link if you missed it – click here. 

They say that if you don’t learn from what happened in the past you are doomed to repeat it. And it is clear the banksters have learned nothing, mainly because the government was not man enough to teach them a lesson when they almost brought the country to its knees. Their greed was excused and rewarded, not punished in any meaningful and lasting way.

So now we have the auto loans credit explosion, which is another mini sub-prime disaster in the making. And again it is being egged on by the stupidity and greed of Wall Street who just can’t pass on the chance to reap big profits from those people silly enough to take their high interest loans.

greedy banksters

This time, however, it turns out some of the people in positions of power are beginning to recognize that this is becoming a big problem.

The regulators and prosecutors are starting to worry about the level of lending abuses. Not only that but they are also recognizing the similarities with the home loans fiasco that eventually resulted in the financial crisis.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently fined subprime auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. $2.75 million for knowingly providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies for at least three years. It was a “computer error” don’t you know, and, of course, they paid the fine but without admitting any liability – perish the thought!

It should come as no surprise that First Investors Financial Services Group is owned by a prominent New York private equity firm.

And like the mortgage sub-prime fraud, the banksters and other money men are not only screwing the people who take out the loans, but once again they are re-packaging them up as “good investments” for their richer clients too.

A United States attorney in Manhattan, has already begun an investigation into whether lenders have sold questionable auto-loan investments to investors, and has sent subpoenas to General Motors Financial and Santander Consumer USA, to try to find out whether the lenders fully disclosed to investors the creditworthiness of borrowers whose loans made up the complicated securities.

sub prime loans

Last time they got away with it. Will this time be any different? You have a lot more faith in the system than me if you think it will. All that is happening so far is tokenism. They need a lot more than a slap on the wrist.

In China or Vietnam and some other locations banksters committing fraud are stood up against a wall a shot. That’s maybe a little harsh, but at the very least some serious jail time is in order.

The fact is the banksters are doing it again because they think that they can get away with it again. And if they get away with it this time, then they’ll do it yet again in the future. All the time racking up fortunes for themselves and leaving the other poor sods, who didn’t know any better than to take out their loans or buy their toxic investments, a lot poorer.

the expendables

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The Rats Are Squealing!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.

Foreclosure-Homes

However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.

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Can Heads That Have No Brains Handle A No-Brainer?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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origin of banksters

Time for another rant about the slime of creation, also known as the banksters.

This blog is about highlighting and fighting against stupidity and bureaucracy and there is no better example of this than the banking industry.

Their stupidity is only matched by their arrogance and their greed.

More than five years on from plunging the world into a financial catastrophe, and all of us into debt that will take generations to sort out, they are still at it!

And the governments are still faffing about, afraid to take on those who bribe them with “contributions” to their election campaigns.

banksters table

For example, the European parliament only reached a “tentative deal” last Wednesday evening to limit bankers’ bonuses at twice the value of their fixed pay. They call it “imposing the toughest limits on pay since the financial crisis”. Gimme strength!!! Of course, the deal, still has to be endorsed formally by governments and lawmakers (i.e., the bureaucrats), and is the result of 18 months of farting around (they call it negotiating).

It’s a start, but a poor and a slow one.

It shows how long it takes for a no-brainer to happen in heads that have no brains!

In timely manner, latest results last week came from Europe, namely the grandly named basket-case Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Lloyds Group, and Spain’s lesser sounding Bankia.

Already more than 80% owned by the British Government (i.e., taxpayers) who stupidly bailed out these idiots to the tune of almost $70 billion, RBoS have announced further losses of around $9 billion!

To make matters worse, $1.6 billion of that was to compensate clients wrongly sold insurance and interest-rate hedging products – which is a nice way of saying they have been caught fleecing their customers and now have to pay back money they cheated their clients out of in the first place.

They called it a “chastening year”.  

Meatime Lloyds chalked up further losses to the tune of more than $2 billion!

And the banksters aren’t any smarter in Spain either. Bankia also this week reported a net loss of €19.06 billion ($25.04 billion) for 2012, by far the largest in Spanish corporate history.

And you know what? Let’s add insult to injury.

These dumb-asses are looking for bonuses for their efforts.

Can you believe it?

banksters bonuses

If someone starts a business and it fails, no one gives them a bonus – they lose their business (usually because the banksters force them to close down).

Just how on earth have we allowed the banking industry to create a culture of stupidity to take hold and remain in place after such clear evidence that it is not working. It is completely absurd.

Hit your sales targets, make money for the company and yes sir you can have a bonus and well deserved. Cost the company $ billions and drive it to bankruptcy because of your incompetence and the only bonus you should get is early parole for good behavior.

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That’s Europe taken care of, can’t go without a word about the American banksters too.

Latest news is that they “have discovered” that they wrongfully foreclosed on more than 700 members of the military during the housing crisis and seized homes from about two dozen other borrowers who were current on their mortgage payments,

The banks, namely Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, only found the foreclosures after regulators ordered them to examine mortgages as part of a multibillion-dollar federal settlement. Each bank “discovered” around 200 members of the military whose homes were wrongly foreclosed in 2009 and 2010.

So while military personnel are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend the country, the slime in the banks are busy trying to illegally foreclose on their homes.

Incredible!

Not only do these foreclosures violate the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law requiring banks to obtain court orders before foreclosing on active-duty members, but they violate every common law of decency.

The sooner governments come to their senses and put these banksters out of business the better and cleaner the country will be.

banksters wrecked the economy

***end rant***

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